After The Hurt is Pepper and Tank's story. Pepper left her super happy, bomb sex relationship with Tank when her Mom died and she needed space. Pepper returns to Tank after 6 months. Tank is running the business they purchased together and carrying a huge chip on his shoulder that landed there after Pepper disappeared without a trace or even a goodbye. The story is about whether Pepper and Sam can pick up where they left off or if Sam is just too bitter to get on with it. Throw in a crazy as hell stalker chick and you have the gist.
Ok, I'm trying to figure out how to sum up my feelings about this. I kind of like Pepper as a character except I totally could not understand her disappearance. Pepper came across as strong, sassy and pretty emotionally stable. I never could quite get why she just disappeared without a word. Pepper and Tank are depicted as having a near perfect relationship prior to her disappearance. I get that Pepper might have needed some space but I couldn't understand why she couldn't write Sam a letter explaining her absence or drop him a note while she was gone. On a related issue, I didn't really understand Pepper's reappearance. I didn't get what changed that suddenly made her come back.
Tank is an ok character. He is reasonably bitter that Pepper disappeared into thin air and sometimes he can be too hard on Pepper as a result. It is clear from the beginning that Tank still has the same feelings he had for Pepper when she left. It is also clear that he would prefer not to have those feelings. Tank puts up a valiant fight but he is unable to fight his attraction or his love for Pepper.
Here's the thing, this is a pretty decent book but I couldn't help but feel like something was missing with the plot. There is just too much time spent on mundane daily activities without a lot of action. What was particularly weird about that is how quickly Pepper became a part of Tank's daily life. Even after being gone for months and months. The subplot with the stalker didn't go much of anywhere and there was PAINFULLY little sex in this book. I'm talking like, you get to the 70% mark and other than a few flashbacks- nothing. I guess the problem is that there just wasn't anything exciting in the book. I felt like I could walk away anytime and not really care about what happened next.
All in all, if you like a more medium paced second chance novel and don't care about a lot of sexual content, this is a good pick for you.
**ARC Provided by Publisher**